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life on the edge of cool

Africa: Be seated

Haile Selassie was born Tafari Makonnen (Amharic ልጅ፡ ተፈሪ፡ መኮንን; Amharic pronunciation lij teferī mekōnnin). “Lij” translates literally to “child”, and serves to indicate that a youth is of noble blood.

He would later become Ras Tafari Makonnen; “Ras” translates literally to “head” and is the equivalent of “duke”, though it is often rendered in translation as “prince”. Tafari, his given name, in Amharic means “one who is respected”, while Haile literally means in Ge’ez “Power of” and Selassie means trinity (i.e. Haile Selassie ”Power of the Trinity”) his coronation name in 1930 (Haile Selassie was also his Christian baptismal name as an infant).

In 1916 during the reign of the Empress Zauditu, she gave him the position of a regent and in 1928 this position was elevated, as she granted him the throne of Shoa, his title was then elevated toNegus, “King”.


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